Opinions vs Reality: Selling with slides?
Opinions vs Reality: Selling with slides?
Should you use slides on a discovery call? Choose wisely: it impacts your chances of booking the next meeting by 17%. On this episode of Opinions vs Reality with Bill and Bryan from The Advanced Selling Podcast, we share the data you need to close more deals.
9 Tips for crafting great sales decks: https://gongh.it/crafting-sales-decks-gong-asp
If you missed the Opinions portion of this podcast (aka the first half of the episode), you can listen here: https://link.chtbl.com/pGK1YxqI
Bill CaskeyPresident, Caskey Achievement Strategies
Bryan NealeFounder, Blind Zebra
Devin Reed: Welcome to the show. You are now part of Reveal, the revenue intelligence podcast powered by Gong. We're your hosts, Devin Reed.
Sheena Badani: And I'm Sheena Badani.
Devin Reed: We're doing one of your favorite things, Sheena, which is myth- busting. We're myth- busting today. And you love doing that.
Sheena Badani: Yeah. Opinions versus reality.
Devin Reed: That is the series. This is part three of four. So if you haven't heard the previous ones, make sure you check it out. Here's what's going on. We are sharing our opinions over on the Advanced Selling Podcast with Brian and Bill. And then we're jumping over here to finish the episode where Sheena and I are going to share the reality, which is Gong labs data showing what's really working out in the world of sales. So if you didn't hear the first part of this episode, make sure you jump over to the Advanced Selling Podcast and listen to the opinions. And you're going to want to do that because Bill took one side, Brian took another side, and I promised them one of them was right. And we're going to find out who it is. So really quickly, a myth that we're going to bust is, should you use slides on your discovery call as a seller? Now, before I get into the answer, I'd love to hear Sheena. From your perspective as a buyer, maybe you requested a demo, maybe someone did great outreach, they got you on a call, they got you on a discovery call. They built rapport. They talked about the weather. They know you live in San Diego. You're ready for the spiel. They say," Can you see my screen?" And a slide deck pops up. Are you happy? Are you sad? Or are you impartial?
Sheena Badani: It depends on the situation a little bit. So if I have reached out and requested a demo, I'm curious about this company, it's annoying to get slides thrown back at me because I'm already in a mindset, I already actually have some questions, some direction in my head that I want to also uncover in this conversation. Then sometimes on the other end there's 20 slides deck that the rep wants to get through. And there's limited time. I'm busy. I have to go to the next thing. And I'm like," I need enough time to make sure that I get these top three questions that I have answered." And I'm sure they have the same thing on their end too. They want to get those top three things out of me. So generally, I feel like it gets in the way. And oftentimes, in those sessions, I'm eager to also see product versus the slides. And then, of course, now, I understand the sales process and that's not going to happen in this meeting, et cetera. But generally, I feel like slides get in the way. That's my thing.
Devin Reed: You used a phrase that I hear with slides a lot. And I think I saw Bill maybe write it down or Brian nod. You said get through. I have to get through the slides. And so, I think we'll get to that in a second here. But Bill and Brian, why don't you share real quick your recap if you think slides are a go, no go, or doesn't do any difference.
Bill: Yeah. Brian said not good on the discovery because they get in the way of the human interaction. So I would vote no.
Brian: I voted yes. But I'm hoping I'm wrong because if I'm right then I've got to go back and create slides for my discovery call. So I've never been so wanting to be wrong in my life. I said they help a little bit if they're good graphics and all that.
Devin Reed: So we analyzed the calls. We looked at discovery meetings, and here is the outcome. Selling with slides decreases your success rate by 17%. Wow, 17%. So again, that's the likelihood of earning a follow up call, not the win rate. But did the deal progress is another way to look at it. So negative 17%. Now, Bill said something in the previous episode, which was like," Well, depends on the quality of the slides." Sheena's mentioning how long does the slide deck. We didn't look at that. We didn't look at going to that level of granularity. What we did was start to say," Okay, if it's negative 17%, why is that? What's happening? What dynamic on that call is different when there's slides versus no slides. And so, we looked at three different things, and I'll go through it real quick. First, if it's a discovery call, should be asking questions. Sellers ask 21% less questions when they're selling with slides. So they're asking less questions. Using slides causes sellers to monologue 25% longer. So that's monologue, think of as the duration of time speaking without stopping, and erupting, asking a question, that sort of thing. So they're monologuing longer. And then as a result, they're talking 15% more when they're selling with slides, or in other words, listening 15% less. And so, Brian, it's exactly what you said. It's an interaction. And I think specifically on this discovery call, there should be a conversation. There's not a ton to show at that time. And then last thing before I hand it back over to you is slides have a positive effect at every other stage of the sales process. So only in the discovery phase did it backfire?.
Bill: That's great. What I loved in the data was the peel back on the longer monologue. And as we are using Gong more, we're obviously using all the dashboard stats that you give us and monitoring those things, and looking at our monologues, and our talk times, especially early on. Our KPIs is I think it should be for any good salesperson, it's a going user. And it's almost impossible to not do that if you were pulling slides up. It's just very awkward to put a slide up and then think that Sheena's going to talk for 15 minutes when my slide's up. It almost doesn't make any sense. It violates common sense in a way if you think about that. The other thing that's interesting to me is if you have any element of... And I say customization, not even product customization, but all of us have a core offering Gong has core functionality, Bill and I have core programs. And every person that is experiencing us in sales process has their own unique position of things. So I have to understand Sheena's persona, her motives and values and things so that I can, in my own way, customize the communication of what blind zebra does specifically to Sheena. That might be slightly different to how I say it to Devin. The core offering's the same, but that I think it's missed too. I think it neutralizes everything, makes everything vanilla or the same. And I think that's an is interesting thing to think about too.
Brian: I also think that if you're in a business where the discovery call also includes you sharing some type of expertise because Brian and I talk a lot about how to change the game in sales, and the game has changed when you can bring some insight or some expertise, seems to me like a one or two slides that depict that expertise might be useful. But I wouldn't call it a slide show. I would just say it's a visual graphic of some kind. I'm not trying to defend my answer, but I do think there is a place for a well- positioned well- design graphic that tells your story so that they can build some context on who you are and how you can help them.
Devin Reed: Yeah. I think that's it too. Is like, it's not delete PowerPoint from your laptop, it's be mindful. If you're going to use slides, make sure you have a conversation because that's exactly what happens. You share your screen and you start talking at the slides instead of with your buyer. And so, that's the key difference. And it's funny, I'm at mid sales cycle with a couple vendors right now and one had slides one didn't. But the one that did, very much used it, like you said, Bill. Talked to it when it made sense, but pulled back and was very interactive, and it was valuable because they have a very specific position on the problem today. So the first company didn't use slides, totally fine discovery call. A good B plus. The other one, even though they use slides, was actually an A because the way they positioned the problem and how they view it was very different than company A and really resonated with me. And just like you said, Bill,| they had this really nice big graphic, one or two slides. It wasn't a slides show. It was a couple things that was not even the centerpiece of the conversation.
Bill: And I think we have to be careful sometimes with stats and data, just a caution. We decrease odds by 17%, but we don't decrease odds by 100%. The data doesn't say never, ever, ever, ever use slides. It's an indicator. And it makes you think. I think it's important for people because I tend to go extreme one way or the other. Like," Oh my gosh. Gong says don't use slides. Don't use slides. Throw all our slides out. Delete PowerPoint," like you said, Devin. That's not really the answer. Little bit too heavy there, Neil. Got to back up a little bit.
Devin Reed: I wrote it in there as the final thing. Before you go delete PowerPoint, be mindful. It's something just to be aware of. Well, great. Well, hey, for listeners who want more discovery call insights, we're going to drop this into the show notes, the description. We discovery call cheat sheet and it includes 15 field sales ready discovery questions. It tells you exactly how many questions you should ask C level execs and a few other tips that are all data backed. So not only to be aware of slides, which will get a handful of more things to help you be more effective in your next discovery call. So with that, we're going to wrap up this episode. Part four is come in next week. Stay tuned. We're going to break down the most effective CTA to use in e- mails. Did you like today's episode? Subscribe now so next week's episode will be waiting for you on Monday.
Sheena Badani: And if you really like the podcast, please leave a review. Five star reviews go a long way to help get the word out there.
Devin Reed: And if you're not ready to give a five, check out another episode and see if we've won you over by then.